The Red Zone is such a key area for fantasy football success. In this series, I will be detailing which players have been getting the most opportunities in the Red Zone, with special attention placed on goal-line carries. This is Red Zone Report Week 4.
For the remainder of this article, the words Red Zone will be replaced by RZ.
Red Zone Rushing Attempts
Quite a surprise to see which player led the NFL in RZ carries during week 3. Myles Gaskin claimed the title with 9 RZ rushing attempts. That’s 2 more than any other player. Derrick Henry and Kareem Hunt were both able to reach lucky number 7 in terms of RZ carries but could not match Gaskin.
Next on the list in Darrell Henderson who carried the ball 6 times inside the 20-yard line. Meanwhile, Aaron Jones, Adrian Peterson, Jonathan Taylor, and Jeff Wilson had 5 such attempts. Therefore, during Week 3, only 8 players reached that 5 carry RZ plateau. Why is 5 so important?
Carries Inside The 5
Well, the 5 that matters most is the 5-yard line. Players with rushing attempts within 5 yards of the zone have tremendous touchdown upside. Alone at the top is Derrick Henry with 4 carries from inside the 5.
There is a list of 6 players who all received 3 rushing attempts within 5 yards or closer of the End Zone. Some names have already been mentioned among the leader in RZ carries. Names such as Gaskin, Henderson, and Jones. However, there are a few players who seemed to get all of their RZ work inside the 5-yard line. They are Josh Allen, Ezekiel Elliott, and Jordan Howard.
Red Zone Targets
Just like each of the previous two weeks, once again 4 RZ targets is enough to lead the league. During Week 3, a pair of tight ends reached that mark in the form of Jimmy Graham and Tyler Kroft. Running back Mike Davis was also targeted 4 times in the RZ.
For the group of players with 3 RZ targets in week 3, tight end was strangely not represented. Instead, we get players such as Rex Burkhead, N’Keal Harry, Tee Higgins, Alvin Kamara, and Tyler Lockett.
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Outside of Josh Allen, the quarterback position was not overly used for RZ carries. Allen had 4 rushing attempts inside the 20-yard line, including 3 inside the 5. No other quarterback saw multiple RZ carries. Instead, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jared Goff, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, and Carson Wentz each received 1 RZ rushing attempt.
2020 Season So Far
With his Week 3 performance, Derrick Henry became the first player to reach 20 RZ opportunities in 2020. Aaron Jones followed closely behind with 19 total RZ chances. With 17 RZ opportunities, next on the list is Ezekiel Elliott who was leading the NFL in that category after Week 2. However, only receiving 3 RZ touches in Week 3 allowed him to be surpassed on the season as a whole. Rounding out the top 5 are Jonathan Taylor and Alvin Kamara with 16 RZ opportunities apiece.
Speaking of Kamara, he is currently tied with another running back for the league lead in RZ targets. That other back is Aaron Jones. Not coincidently, both players’ teams are dealing with injuries to their star receivers. As a consequence, Jones and Kamara have been their respective teams’ top options in the RZ.
Among non-running backs, Jimmy Graham and Calvin Ridley are the only players with 7 RZ targets. In fact, Graham actually leads his team in total RZ opportunities, the only receiver to do so through 3 NFL weeks.
One final note. Even though Elliott lost his reign as league leader in RZ opportunities, he still paces the NFL for carries inside the 5-yard line. He has 10 such attempts. For reference sake, Jordan Howard is next with 8 rushing attempts inside the 5.
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